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Marian Anderson
Critic's Notebook: JFK was arts patron in chief
Critic's Notebook: JFK was arts patron in chief

Three days after Lee Harvey Oswald's bullet inconsolably blackened the mood of America, Leonard Bernstein tried to lift the nation's spirits by focusing on a special legacy — one that is getting too little attention in the commentary around Friday's 50th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Instead of performing a requiem Mass for a slain Roman Catholic president, Bernstein led the New York Philharmonic in Mahler's Second Symphony, known as the "Resurrection." JFK had, like no president before him, empowered artists, and that was expected to last. "American artists have for three years looked to the White House with unaccustomed...

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